Oil lamp with cross motif - 910.114.503_1_ashleegalletta201106


Oil lamp with cross motif

Medium:Ceramic (earthenware, moulded), moulded-relief decoration
Geography: Most likely found at Beit She'an-Beisan (ancient Scythopolis), Israel
Date: 5th-6th Century
Period: Byzantine Period
9.6 x 6.3 cm
Object number: 910.114.503
Not on view
DescriptionThe equilateral cross that decorates this lamp would suggest it was made for a Christian market.
Object History: This object is from a group acquired by the ROM in 1910 from J. Vester & Co of the American Colony in Jerusalem. Vester in turn had acquired them from J. D. Whiting in 1907. The records show that Whiting had obtained the objects from "Beisan, Taibeh, etc.", but the material got mixed up in a fire at Vester's, and so which of these find-spots, or if the find-spot was "etc.", is unknown. Beisan is still the Arabic name of what is now also known as Beit She'an or Beth Shan, and in the Seleucid and Roman period was the important city of Scythopolis, the city of the Scythians. "Taibeh" may be al-Tayiba, a large Palestinian village which does not seem to have evidence of occupation in this period and is 50 km southwest of Beisan; or al-Tayba, a smaller village in Palestine about 30 km west of Beisan which certainly has finds of this period. The attribution to the "etc." sites are presumably even less likely.
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